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Framing, debating and standardising "natural food" in two different political contexts: Sweden and the U.S.
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7215-2623
2003 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Food labelling has been introduced in several countries as a tool for consumer swho want to make reflexive and responsible choices. This is connected to increased worries and concerns about environmental, ethical, and health-related problems caused by production and consumption. Organic food is interpreted by many as a good solution to such problems. An international organic movement has been quite successful in promoting the organic industry and trade, as well as in establishing criteria for what should count as “organic.” However, there is considerable variation across countries as to how organic food principles and labelling standards are debated and decided.

This report examines and compares debates and standardisation of organic food and agriculture in Sweden and the U.S. Standardisation of organic food and agriculture is carried out in both countries, but in different ways. In Sweden a private organisation (KRAV) - consisting of NGOs, associations for conventional and organic farmers, and the food industry - has been rather successful in promoting organic food labelling as an eco-label. KRAV has developed a complementary position vis-à-vis the state and the regulatory framework in the EU. In the U.S., the Federal Government controls standardisation. The Government frames the label as a “marketing label,” and rejects the idea that organic food production would have relative advantages to the environment, health or food quality. This type of framing is separated from the ones created by organic constituencies, leading to deeper controversies than in Sweden.

In this paper we compare the organic standardisation processes against thedifferent political and regulatory backgrounds in these countries. Organisationalprocesses behind food labelling are examined; e.g. who are participating in which forms? The paper pays particular attention to how actors frame organic food and agriculture. We use framing theory for investigating how actors develop ideas about what they are doing and how they are forming coalitions. This body of literature is also used for illuminating the compromises that lie behind standardisation of organic food.

In the concluding section we discuss some reasons why it has been easier in Sweden to carry on standardisation. Still, it is also important to pay attention to some possible negative consequences of the more consensus-oriented debate climate in Sweden

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: SCORE , 2003. , p. 44
Series
SCORE rapportserie, ISSN 1404-5052 ; 2003:3
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39735ISBN: 91-89658-11-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-39735DiVA, id: diva2:777655
Available from: 2011-03-13 Created: 2014-12-15 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf